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“Why bother going to Italy when The Grand is right in your own backyard?”

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Ranked #2 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Westwood, California
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Why bother going to Italy when The Grand is right in your own backyard?”
Reviewed August 4, 2011

The purpose of my visit was to check out the spa and 5 Star restaurant for a possible
reunion site next year and the experience truly amazed me. From the friendly greetings at valet and Front Desk to the superlative service at both restaurants I was hard pressed
to find any enduring flaws. The pool service was the only area that needed improvement as it did take quite a while to get a waitperson and she was not versed in the menu. It was just as well as I ended up having lunch at their 'casual restaurant' which had the best $14 hamburger I've ever had. The waiter was great. Served hot bread (rolls and breadsticks freshly baked) and fresh butter. His suggestion of the grilled garlic lime shrimp salad was wonderful. They use freshly ground angus beef (sirloin) and it came rare as desired and the bun was homemade. The dinner at Addison was also wonderful - the highlight being an incredible cheese gougere served as one of three amuse bouches. An explosion of cheese was like a mouth orgasm. Loved it. The lamb however - supposedly a 'signature dish' was oddly sweet and bland and lacked juice.
Not recommended. The sweet pea ravioli was lovely - almost as good as Spago. All the vegetarian options were very creative and highly recommended. Excellent King Crab first course.
The rooms were well designed, beds extremely comfortable - outfitted with Pratesi sheets. Great bathroom. There was an annoying green light above the bed (smoke alarm?) that was poorly positioned for people who like a dark environment. I would suggest that housekeeping provide eye masks on request. The feel of the place was like a wonderful Italian palace - lavish and opulent and yet warm and inviting. Perfect place to feel pampered and less than 2 hours from Los Angeles. A real gem of a place that I hope is around for a long, long time.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Thank TravellingRover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mountain View, CA
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

One of the better resort properties we have ever stayed in. This is our second visit, but on the first we were with a corporate group, so we did not really get to experience the full treatment until this visit. We are already trying to figure out how we can get back here soon. My take on the place

Resort - smacks of luxury from the moment you hit the gate and the long drive up the canyon. While located in an area that has various subdivisions, you never know it once you get on the property (save the homes dotting the ridgelines on either side). Fantastic golf course, tennis courts and pool areas - one adult, 3 family pools. Furnishings, marble, layout, lobby, restaurants, lounge - everything is done exceptionally well. A friend commented that some fine European resorts have taken decades to acheive the level that the GDM has achieved in only a few years.

Service - top shelf. From the valet, to check in, the bell hop, everyone is just super. The teenagers wanted smores and they did not have any. Problem? Nope, they loaded them into the house car and off to the 24 hour Vons for smores fixins. Needless to say, the kids are ruined for life, but heck, its vacation.

Room- We had a Prado suite which was even better than we hoped for. 1 bedroom suite, but the trick is it has 2 full size bathrooms. Critical when traveling with a teenage girl and a wife who each have their own bathroom routine. I would not get a bigger suite if it did not have that second batroom. Kid is on a pull out, but she says its actually more comfortable than she expected, Furnishings and details inside are all top shelf as well, Only letdown for the device laden family we are - not enough outlets!

Food - Did not try their 5 star offering, Addison, but the Amaya was great. See separate review for it, Even the appetizers by the pool were well done. Wine list in the lounge is also quite good. Excellent list of single malts and they have cigars as well as a smoking balcony.

Activities - you name it, they have it. Concierge arranged kayaking, snorkleing, horseback riding on the trails surrounding the resort, a beach trip (complete with umbrella, charis etc.). First class all around. I am a runner and if you like trail running you are in luck. The resorts own Shaw Trail connects into the Penasquitos Canyon Preserve on the other side of the south ridge. Lots of climbing but world class trail running, mountain biking and equestrian trails,

Fitness Center - very, very good.

Spa - looks lovely, but the prices were so high ($100 for a pedicure) that we did not partake.

Yes, the GDM is expensive, but worth every penny in our book.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Jim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

Most often when my family visits The Grand Del Mar we are with our 2 young children, and the experience is always wonderful. This weekend for our anniversary we left the kids behind and experienced a whole new Grand Del Mar. We have always enjoyed visiting with our kids as the staff is always accommodating, taking all the right steps to insure our kids and family are comfortable and well taken care of. Their children’s pool and resort pools are always live and well-staffed. The kids can enjoy just as much as the adults do. This trip was just as enjoyable but completely different. My wife and I completely avoided the "family" pools and spent all of our time at the relaxation pool. We enjoyed spa treatments at what has to absolutely be the more amazing spa in San Diego County, shopped at the outlets which are stocked with great clothing, candles and other fun items and ate at all of the restaurants. Overall just an amazing experience and a total eye opener when we realized this resort can really do it all. Always a great and fun family experience, and now a luxurious couple’s weekend. Cheers Grand Del Mar!!!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are wonderful, just get out and enjoy the property.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2 Thank JasonRattray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2011

Beautiful grounds, staff exceptional, restaurant awesome. Very exclusive. Rent a car if plan on leaving grounds.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
1 Thank Whyneeded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2011

Luxury hotel, well placed to explore downtown San Diego and coast.
We had planned to stay downtown but as our stay coincided with ComicCon we were unable to get in anywhere- I'm so glad we couldn't, as staying at the Grand Del Mar was far more relaxing.
Beautiful, spacious room with very comfortable bed.
Staff very attentive.
Excellent breakfasts, even though you are given a menu, it seemed that whatever you wanted they would try and accomodate it.
Would definitely choose TGDM again.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Newman_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

The Grand Del Mar is a once in a blue moon treat for me. The price makes it a special occasion destination for me, but it's well worth the price of admission.

Don't let the fact that it's not right on the beach deter you from staying here. Once you arrive, you won't want to leave.

The rooms are incredible, I don't think i've ever stayed anywhere with rooms like this and I've stayed in some nice places!

The food is five star, the spa is to die for and the pools are delightful. . .epsecially the one where kids are not allowed! Families, don't fret, there is a wonderful pool for families as well and a great kids club to boot.

They have golf (i don't golf but I hear it's an amazing course), an equestrian center and hiking in the attached nature preserve. Trust me, you won't be bored.

All of the above makes it a great place to stay but here's where it becomes amazing in my book. . .the staff. Bellman, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Wait Staff, Bartenders, Management. . .you name it, they are the nicest, most GENUINE, staff i've ever encountered. These people aren't fake, they love their jobs and it shows.

Oh yeah, they don't nickel and dime you with a "Resort Fee" or make you pay for bottled water or wireless internet access. . .it's all included. AND the coffee maker in the room is amazing, it's a mini esspresso machine!

I highly, highly recommend the Grand Del Mar.

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room in the place!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
2 Thank weedebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, KY
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2011

Stayed here a few weeks ago with 27 family members. We take a family trip each year and have visited Maui (Kea Lani and Ritz Carlton), Grand Caymon (Ritz Carlton), and taken a Mediterranean and Alaskan Cruise with post-cruise stays at Four Seasons Vancouver. The level of service we received during our stay from top to bottom was head and shoulders above the rest. Upon arrival you immediately feel welcome and at check-in we helped ourselves to a snack of cookies and fruit juice and the delivery of our luggage was very prompt. A call to Housekeeping for more hangars took about five minutes at the most and they provided me with more than I requested. As we walked the beautiful grounds we were immediately relaxed and took in all of the scenic lawns, gardens and firepit areas. Our room was on the second floor (three floors total) and overlooked one of the firepit areas which I noticed in the evening would be popular with guests quietly sipping a glass of wine or just visiting.

Each morning my husband and I would play tennis on one of their two courts and either had breakfast at Club M on the weekend or grabbed a quick bite at the Cent Anni Cafe. If looking for a quick and less expensive option, visit Cent Anni as one morning I had a bowl of oatmeal for $5, I believe, and it was served on white china with brown sugar, almonds, and raisins. Others in the family said that the sandwiches served there were delicious. Several of us also enjoyed Amaya for breakfast and dinner as well as the poolside lunch service. We did not try Addison.

A few examples of their exemplary service include:
1. Opening Gift Shop up at 10 p.m. so that my niece could get aloe vera for her sunburn.
2. Locating a family member's cane which was lost somewhere within the Resort.
3. Delivering contact solution to another niece who forgot to pack hers in the suitcase.
4. Reserving a few areas for family pics taken by a photographer on our last day.

I could go on and on but each and every Grand Del Mar staff member had an attitude of "How may I help you" and "We can get that done".

The rooms are gorgeous and we loved the window which opens (or can be shut at night) between the bedroom and bathroom and, of course, my husband loved the tv built into the bathroom mirror. Housekeeping was very efficient and the chocolate covered oreos and gourmet chocolates left on the bed at night were a very nice touch as well as the comp. bottled water. Also, the beds were ultra-comfy. Mid-week they knocked on the door to switch out the padded seat cushions for our balcony chairs. They almost seem to anticipate your needs.

One afternoon they set up tables, chairs, and umbrellas to present a wildlife display for the kids with an armadillo, boa constrictor, horned bull frog among others which amused not only my younger nieces and nephews but a few of the adults as well. The fresh lemonade served to all was a nice touch. The amount of activities available within the resort could keep you busy; however, if visiting the area for the first time you will want to visit the Zoo, Legoland, downtown San Diego, etc. They will provide you with precise directions if you drive anywhere or if it is within fourteen miles they can provide comp. car service. It is best to plan ahead so that you are able to reserve the shuttle or car service as I believe quite a few make use of this attractive amenity. Have to mention the mini hot tub for the kiddies. So cute and popular with my nieces and nephews.

In closing the Grand Del Mar is the place to stay whether you just want to relax or as a base for sightseeing. We drove south to downtown San Diego and north to Carlsbad and both places took appr. 25-28 minutes as long as we were not driving during rush hour traffic. La Jolla is very close (fifteen minutes) and the village of Del Mar has a lot of nice restaurants and is a twelve minute drive. We went in between the San Diego Fair and Del Mar Thoroughbread Racing Season so traffic was not as congested. Do yourself a favor and make a visit to this haven.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank hartz0729
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Property: Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Address: 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 92130 (Formerly Grand Del Mar)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in San Diego
#1 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#1 Family Hotel in San Diego
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#11 Green Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Fairmont Grand Del Mar 5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serenely nestled amidst San Diego's Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and a mere five miles from the Pacific coastline, triple Five-Star Fairmont Grand Del Mar seamlessly combines the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant resort. The result: TripAdvisor's #1 Luxury Hotel in the United States. Little wonder, given the sun-drenched climate, stunning natural beauty, championship golf course, one of only 25 Five-Star spas in the United States, and irresistible dining - epitomized by Addison, Southern California's only Five-Star/Five Diamond restaurant, helmed by Relais and Chateaux Grand Chef William Bradley. From the completely relaxing to the downright invigorating, you'll find a variety of ways to fill your days (and nights) at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Engage in a seasonal mixology class. Take a dip in one of four heated pools. Enjoy an afternoon hike or horseback ride amid the pristine nature preserve. Or, sip signature cocktails at the resort's enticing lounges - all before retreating to your thoughtfully appointed guestroom. Welcome to the Grand life - just east of the Pacific and slightly north of expectations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Del Mar Hotel San Diego
Grand Del Mar Hotel
Grand Del Mar San Diego

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